Queen Victoria’s Gift

20 May

Another Victoria Day is upon us, and to celebrate, here is a little known fact (okay, the truth is I didn’t know it, maybe everyone else does) about the longest reigning British monarch, Queen Alexandrina Victoria, courtesy of Robert McNamara, journalist and historian.

The Resolute Desk

President Barack Obama at the Resolute Desk, a gift from Queen Victoria

On the left is a nice photo of President Barack Obama at work in the Oval Office. What does the President have to do with Queen Victoria?

Glad you asked.

The HMS Resolute was a 19th century ship of the Royal Navy, especially outfitted for Arctic expeditions. During one of these trips, the ship became trapped in the ice and was abandoned. When it was recovered by an American whaling ship in 1856 and returned to Queen Victoria, she expressed her gratitute to the Americans by having a desk constructed using timbers from the ship. The ‘Resolute’ desk was presented to the White House in 1880 as a gesture of thanks.

The Resolute Desk has been used by a number of presidents. At times it was in the private quarters of the White House, but in recent years it has been used in the Oval Office, seen here with President Obama.

5 Responses to “Queen Victoria’s Gift”

  1. kathleenkaskawrites May 20, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    Thanks for the history lesson, Nancy. It’s a beautiful piece of furniture. Happy Victoria Day!

  2. Selena Robins Musings May 21, 2013 at 12:08 am #

    Great information! Love history tid bits. Thanks!

  3. 4amWriter May 21, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    I didn’t know this! Thanks for the info!!

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